Hunt’s Pasta Sauce — 10 Cans, Meals 3, 3.5, and 4

As a result of a great sale several weeks ago at Brookshire’s, one of my local grocery options, I stocked up my pantry with 10 cans of Hunt’s Pasta Sauce.

I usually make my own pasta sauce, but I do always like to keep a tin or two of Hunt’s Pasta Sauce in my pantry for a quick, easy meal. For example, I’ve found that it’s just the right amount of sauce for a frozen (or refrigerated) bag of ravioli. It’s also just the right amount of sauce for when I make stuffed shells — I figure I’m already futzing with stuffing the pasta shells, so unless I’m feeling especially like puttering in the kitchen, I usually make it easy on myself and doctor up a can of Hunt’s Pasta Sauce. When we’re making up a big batch of pizzas (such as for a family birthday party), mixing a tin of Hunt’s Pasta Sauce with tomato paste is an easy way to make a yummy pizza sauce for a crowd.

Generally, I choose Hunt’s Pasta Sauce over other brands because even when it’s not on sale, it’s usually more affordable than other brands; I like the flavor of it (‘though I add additional seasonings to it, of course); and in comparison to other sauces, it seems to have the least amount of added sugar.

Hunt’s Pasta Sauce comes in a variety of flavors, but I usually get either the Garlic & Herb or the No-Sugar-Added sauce, although I’ve found that the No-Sugar-Added sauce is thinner and more watery than the others.

Given that, at a $1 a can, the Pasta Sauce is more affordable than an equal amount of tomato sauce, I’m treating the Hunt’s Pasta Sauce as I would a seasoned tomato sauce and trying it in a few different ways.

In the past few weeks, I’ve made Meals 3, 3.5, and 4 with the Hunt’s Pasta sauce and am just now having time to report in to you about them — but let me assure you that they all smelled — and tasted! — YUMMY!

So think about it as one for my baby and one for the road — with a half one in-between 😉 (Go on, you know you want to enjoy the magic of the late Billie Holiday while you read the rest of the blog. 😉 )

MEAL 3: Quicker Meatballs and Spaghetti (Serves 5 to 8 )

I made my own meatballs and then added to the Hunt’s for a quicker sauce that gave a slow-simmered flavor but without all the slow-simmered time. You could also use your favorite frozen meatballs.

Vegetarians: I’m sure there is a meatball substitute somewhere. 🙂 Or, you could make it a meat sauce and crumble in a some vegetable burgers, vegetarian sausage, or other appropriate substitute.

  • Meatballs (you can make your own — here are one and two variations I’ve made — or use your favorite frozen ones)
  • 1 can (26 ounces) Hunt’s pasta sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • Red wine and/or water to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 onion, finely chopped/diced
  • Minced garlic to taste
  • 1 – 2 medium carrot(s), finely chopped/diced (optional)
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped/diced (optional)
  • If desired: Sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned) and/or diced green bell pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce (Vegetarians — leave out or use a vegan substitute)
  • Seasonings to taste: bay leaf(ves), basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, parsley and rosemary (optional))
  • Desired amount of cooked spaghetti (or other desired pasta)
  • Olive or canola oil
  1. Make meatballs or remove from freezer.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet or saucepan, heat a wee bit of olive or canola oil or lightly “season” the skillet . Add in diced onion and sauté for just a bit. Add in rgw carrot and celery, if using; cook for a bit, then add in the minced garlic and sauté. Add in some healthy splashes of wine (I prefer red; I used some Shiraz, because that’s what I had on hand and open) to “deglaze” the pan, and simmer the mixture for just a bit. Add in any other vegetables (such as mushrooms or bell pepper).
  3. Stir in the pasta sauce and tomato paste. Add in seasonings and Worcestershire (if using) to taste. Add in more water/wine if desired.
  4. Stir in meatballs. Simmer, covered or uncovered, until heated through and sauce is of desired consistency (generally 30 to 45 minutes, although you can simmer for a longer period, if desired).
  5. Serve over cooked spaghetti.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.

MEAL 3.5: Pizza with Meatballs

Hubby and I enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs for a couple of meals. inspired by a pizza I’d seen at the Freshgrocery in Tyler several months ago,  I took the few meatballs and bit of sauce I had left, sliced the meatballs, added the remaining spaghetti sauce to mix in as part of my homemade pizza sauce, and we used the sliced meatballs and sauce as one of the toppings on our homemade grilled pizzas (La Pizza Alla Griglia) — delizioso!

MEAL 4: Lasagna with Sausage Sauce (Serves 9 to 12)

Vegetarians: Use a vegetarian sausage substitute in place of the sausage, or add in some more of your favorite veggies!

  • 1 pound bulk turkey sausage or reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Red wine (white would likely work, as well)
  • 1/2 to 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped/diced
  • 1 – 2 carrot(s), finely diced/minced
  • Minced garlic to taste
  • 1 can (14 -15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (26 ounces) Hunt’s pasta sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • Mushrooms (fresh or tinned/jarred), if desired
  • Approximately 2 cups (15 ounce container) reduced-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 8 to 10 ounces (about 2 cups) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (do yourself a favor and grate your own!)
  • Grated Parmesan and/or three-cheese Italian blend to taste (optional)
  • Worcestershire sauce (Vegetarians: Leave out or use a vegan substitute)
  • Seasonings to taste: bay leaf(ves), basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, parsley and rosemary (optional))
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
  1. Brown bulk sausage in a large non-stick skillet in a splash of olive or canola oil.
  2. Add in diced onion and minced carrot and sauté for just a bit. Add in minced garlic and sauté. Add in some healthy splashes of wine (I prefer red; I used some Shiraz, because that’s what I had on hand and open) to “deglaze” the pan, and simmer the onion/carrot/garlic mixture for just a bit.
  3. Pour in tinned tomatoes (UNDRAINED), pasta sauce, and tomato paste. (I usually use the smaller 6 ounce can, but sometimes will use the 12 ounce can and just add in some more wine/water/desired liquid to adjust the sauce to the consistency I want at the time.) Stir together.
  4. Add seasonings to taste: a splash of Worcestershire sauce, basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley. I also like a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to give it a hint of “fra diavolo” flavor. Add in a bay leaf or two. I’m lucky enough to have fresh rosemary growing in my herb garden, so I like to lay a snipping or two of rosemary twigs on the sauce to simmer (as with bay leaves, I remove them before we eat). I much prefer fresh rosemary to dried, but you can use dried if you prefer, or you can just leave the rosemary out. Add in mushrooms, if desired. Reduce heat to simmer.
  5. While the sauce simmers, cook lasagna noodles to al dente. (Remember, they’ll be baking in the lasagna, too.) Rinse in cold water and drain.
  6. Lightly beat an egg into the ricotta (or cottage) cheese. Season to taste with parsley and coarse ground black pepper and, if desired, basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, and garlic powder.
  7. Lightly spray a 13″X9″ (3 quart) baking pan (preferably glass) with cooking spray or oil lightly.
  8. Spread a small amount (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) sauce along the bottom of the pan.
  9. Gently dry 3 lasagna noodles and lay them side-by-side in the pan. Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan or Italian cheese blend, if desired. Spread about 1/2 of the ricotta (or cottage) cheese mixture along the noodles. Spread a bit less than 1/3 of the sausage sauce on top of the cheese. Sprinkle lightly with some grated Parmesan or Italian cheese blend, if desired. Sprinkle with a bit of the shredded mozzarella.
  10. Gently dry 3 more lasagna noodles and repeat layers, which will use up the remaining ricotta (or cottage) cheese mixture, but NOT the remaining sausage sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  11. Gently dry the last 3 lasagna noodles and place side-by-side in pan. Top with remaining sausage sauce, making sure all noodles are covered. Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan and/or Italian cheese blend, if desired.
  12. Cover and bake at 350F until cooked through and bubbly; about 30 to 45 minutes. Uncover, top with remaining grated cheese, and bake about 15 more minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

To make ahead: Assemble lasagna. Keep covered, in refrigerator, for 24 hours, or in freezer for a couple of months. Bake refrigerated lasagna, covered, for 45 minutes or so, then uncover for another 15 to 30 minutes, until done. Bake frozen lasagna, covered, for 45 minutes or so, then uncover and bake for another 40 to 60 minutes, until done.

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About MissieLee

I love tasty food prepared in a healthy way with a budget in mind.
This entry was posted in Beef, Casserole, Main Dish, Pasta, Turkey, Vegetarian/Meatless and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Hunt’s Pasta Sauce — 10 Cans, Meals 3, 3.5, and 4

  1. Pingback: Est-il français? | That Smells Yummy!

  2. LinnieGayl says:

    Okay, you’ll probably think this is funny. Following your example, I decided to get some Hunts pasta sauce. I was at Target a few weeks ago and thought i grabbed about 6 cans for only 86 cents each!!! Then, when I got ready to use it I discovered I’d purchased 6 cans of Hunts tomato sauce, not pasta sauce…sigh. Probably not as great a deal. Will look for it next time I’m at Target again.

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